Mark Palmer is a guy I don’t really know. He and I know some of the same people – his sister lived in the dorm we ran in PA (and we also got to know their parents a little through her) and Phil is a part of Palmer’s community in Columbus, Ohio. Palmer and I have never met, though we exchanged a couple of emails at some point several months ago. That said, I’m going to attempt to tell you a little about him and ask Phil to correct or clarify where I fall short.
Palmer has cancer (or had cancer, many are praying), and he’s about my age (I’m not entirely sure of the accuracy of that part, but he’s way too young for this, whatever the case). Like me, he has a wife named Amy and a little boy who’s in the general vicinity of three years-old. Amy and Palmer were married last November, about a year and a half after his first wife died at a very young age from stomach cancer.
I’ve felt some unusual connection to Palmer and his story since I first began hearing about them over two years ago. I think I felt that connection for several reasons. He was preparing for and welcoming his first son as I was doing the same, and he was also preparing for experiencing the earthly departure of his wife and his son’s mother only months after she gave birth. Maybe it’s because my wife has had so many peculiar and occasionally frightening health issues, but their story resonated with me in some deep places. I also believe Palmer and his lot are on a spiritual journey that we relate to, particularly in the area of life in community. He leads (if he has a title Phil, feel free to add that) a church community in Columbus called Landing Place.
So here’s the deal – Palmer’s health insurance group has decided they’ll pass on paying for all his cancer-related bills. Who knows when an insurance company has legitimate cause for making a decision like this and when it doesn’t, but it is what it is. Palmer’s bills are likely to run upwards of $75k, and most clergy-types leading new, small faith communities don’t have that kind of change in their sock drawer. Many in Palmer’s local community and some of his friends worldwide are working to put an end to those bills.
You can help by making a Paypal donation through Landing Place on his behalf. Just click the link in the upper right corner of the page (or at the bottom of this post). That will take you to Palmer’s blog, where you can read about his progress (he’s been through chemo and is now recovering from surgery) and click on the Paypal link on his page to join in his healing. I know you have plenty of ways to spend (and even donate) your money, but here’s a chance for us to affect change for a real person. Do something good.
And, of course, Palmer covets the prayers of brothers and sisters for the healing of his body. He believes in the far-reaching power of the Kingdom of God, and he’s comforted and changed when we leverage that Kingdom on his behalf.